UFC +3 Blachowicz vs. Santos: Punched out in Prague - 2/22/2019

Welcome fight enthusiasts to the third ESPN + production of the UFC. Tomorrow’s fight card from Prague drops at 8am PT so be aware of the early coverage when considering the positions put forth below.

As is customary my main event breakdown for VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ publication is posted first followed by any update of the main event then other releases. This card has plenty of dynamic match-ups and we’ve been running hot lately so let’s persevere in Prague!

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--Originally published 2-20-19--

Last Week’s UFC main event prediction of Cain Velasquez was a good old fashioned miss. Despite correctly tracking line movement and gaining every pricing advantage on Velasquez it was evident that his time off coupled with Ngannou’s power made for one disappointing result.

The best news in the fight game is that there is a ten to twelve event fight card almost each week so it’s time to turn the page and focus ahead to this week’s ESPN+ production which will take place in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Important to note is that the time of this highly international fight card will be Saturday morning beginning 10am PT.

Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos -125 vs. Jan Blachowicz +105 Light Heavyweight (205lbs) Main Event

We have discussed how regional and somewhat obscure some of these foreign fight cards can be yet this card from Prague is rife with competitive match-ups and a very diverse mix of international fighters.

Travelling in from Brazil is one confident striking based sledgehammer in sixth ranked Thiago Santos (Marreta means sledgehammer in Portuguese). Santos who spent much of his career at the 185lb. Middleweight division has been impressive in finishing both his opponents at this new weight class.

Santos is atypical of most Brazilian fighters in that he is a Muay Thai, Capoeira based striker. Santos does have a black belt in BJJ which on paper seems to fulfill his fight arsenal but Santos does not show up to any fight to grapple, rather he shows up to finish opponents violently.

Since his submission loss to Eric Spicely in 2016 Santos has finished six of his last eight opponents with a KO loss to journeyman David Branch in April of last year.  That loss to Spicely exposed Santos’ lack of any real wrestling ability and his loss to Branch exposed a chin that is fragile when flushed.

The talent level of his opponents (especially the last two men he fought at Light Heavyweight) are evidence that Blachowicz in a move up in class for Santos as well he must navigate a trip across the world to fight the European in his back yard.

Third ranked UFC Light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz fights similarly to Santos in that he is a boxing/kickboxing based fighter with a black belt in BJJ. He’s won his last four fights against fighters who all exceed the skill level of Santos’ last opponents in my judgement and outside of his competitive loss to Alexander Gustaffson, Blachowicz’s other setbacks have come primarily from wrestling based fighters which Santos is not.

I expect this fight to take place on the feet for Santos is highly confident that his collaboration of striking and spinning kicks will be imposing enough to back up Blachowicz and allow Santos to destroy at distance.

Blachowicz lacks flash, self-promotion and fluid movement but he is well equip with a refined power based striking game, durability, toughness and a granite beard. He’ll utilize bludgeoning leg kicks as a weapon designed to take movement away from ‘Marreta’ and force him to back up thus enabling Blachowicz to bully the Brazilian backwards and expose a weakness to the muscled monster, that fragile jaw.

I handicap Blachowicz a slight favorite on a neutral site but the crowd will be soundly backing Blachowicz, a Pole fighting in Prague. Gaining an underdog price on a proven lightweight against a newcomer to the division who will be giving away size and weight is a position I will take.

Blachowicz +105

Last week my only miss on GambLou.com was Cain Velasquez. I encourage readers to tune into VSiN regularly and check the GambLou.com webpage day of the fights for all updates and final releases.

--Updated 2-22-19 2pm ET--

Blachowicz and Santos has settled into a basic pick-em fight so grabbing value early in the week with the dog price on Jan Blachowicz insures that we hold market advantage. Now the difficult part. Winning the fight against a most dangerous and explosive fighter in Thiago Santos. I believe that in this main event diligence will overcome destruction.

Oleksiejczuk -200 vs. Villante +180

Longo/Serra have been pounding on Gian to get his fights to the ground. I think he’ll finally listen. If Villante wrestles he wins.

Villante +180 (half)

Yan -290 vs. Dodson +260

I expressed with Gabriel Morency this past week on Game Time decisions (FNTSY Sports Network) my surprise at this line. Yan is a capable fighter without question but I felt he looked less than spectacular in his last fight against a guy I feel is less a fighter than Dodson. Yan is the larger fighter here, he’s tough, strikes well and is a superb wrestler but he’ll be giving away quickness, speed and experience in the UFC. Dodson knows the organization sees him as a stepping stone. Let’s see if that motivates the consummate decision fighter.

Dodson +260 (half)

Hadzovic -120 vs. Reyes +110

In nine fights these two have zero combined takedowns. Hadzovic going to be had here.

Reyes +110 (half)

Ismagulov -280 vs. Alvarez +240

Ismagulov is the ferocious striker but he’s much the smaller man though his past pedigree suggests he is a competent fighter. Alvarez is the younger, larger, longer grappling based fighter. Alvarez a ship in from Spain must drag Ismagulov to the mat for a maul provided he can weather the early strike storm from the raging Russian.

Alvarez +240 (half)

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC ESPN1 Ngannou vs. Velasquez: Heavyweight Haboob - 2/17/2019

A heavyweight haboob hovers over Phoenix today as the UFC hits town to feature its new business partner ESPN1 who’ll be televising the event on their flagship network (early prelims on ESPN+). As is the case for the last couple of years, I’ll post my VSiN breakdown of the main event Velasquez vs. Ngannou initially then follow that column up with a complete update of any recent releases from this AM.

I have earned credentials to cover this event for VSiN and wish to thank them for the job of UFC columnist as well toss out special thanks to the UFC for allowing VSiN and myself into press row to cover this outstanding event. So without further ado…. there’s but one thing left to undertake…

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--originally published 2-13-19 Point Spread Weekly--

ESPN’s first televised production of the UFC airs this Sunday evening from Phoenix, Az. where fight fans will witness the return of former two-time Heavyweight Champion (and currently unranked) Cain Velasquez.  Velasquez is facing a much younger, larger, stronger, more powerful man that he in number three ranked Heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou. A determining factor to handicapping this fight is whether Velasquez, who has not fought since July of 2016 is fully recovered from previously incurred ailments and ready to perform like Cain Velasquez the former two-time Heavyweight Champion.

Heavyweight (265lbs) Main Event: Cain Velasquez -185 vs. Francis Ngannou +155 (Westgate)

Up until he was exposed at the hands of then champion Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou was regarded as one of the most dominant power punchers in UFC Heavyweight history even though Ngannou was young, green and lacking experience.  Ngannou carried an aura of brute power and invincibility with him into all his fights until a vastly more wrestling based and experienced Miocic took the cage with him and utilized intellect in the game plan to out execute the less experienced slugger.

Effective against Ngannou in that fight was Miocic’s use of evasive stand up in the early rounds which helped drain Ngannou’s energy. He then worked himself inside Ngannou’s eighty-three-inch reach thus eliminating his distance/power then proceeded to drag the gassed goliath to the ground for some effective wrestling.  

Since that fight Ngannou has surely tried to develop his wrestling for he well knows that his singular advantage in fights lies in his power striking so remaining on his feet is mandatory. That said, it takes years not months to become even somewhat apt at wrestling let alone world-class and his opponent Sunday Velasquez is surely a world class wrestler.

Ngannou will have to use movement to maintain distance from Velasquez for Ngannou must not allow the unrelenting wrestler inside which will squelch his effectiveness while simultaneously providing advantage to Velasquez who will absolutely strive to get this fight to the floor where Ngannou’s power and size will be muted.

Cain Velasquez when he was healthy/active was one of the most capable and dominant heavyweight champions in UFC history but as mentioned, it’s been almost three years since he has competed inside of the Octagon.  

Velasquez, who at first blush appears to be a touch undersized for the Heavyweight division (he weighs in at or around 240lbs) makes up for his lack of size with unrelenting wrestling pressure, supreme conditioning with a volume attack of strikes. He trains with Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold, Khabib Nurmagomedov and a slew of other highly rated UFC fighters in San Jose who all bow and defer to Velasquez.

I mention this only because many of these MMA gyms are comprised of fighters who are close and regard one another as family and AKA which is Velasquez’s gym is such. Part of my handicapping this fight is the fact that Dan Cormier and others all support Velasquez as ready for this challenge Sunday. Cormier and Cain are close so I do put credence into the fact that Velasquez has been deemed fit to compete by his homies.

That said, this sport evolves quickly and it will take a top effort for Velasquez to shake out the rust while trying to systematically sap Ngannou of his strength. Eventually Velasquez must drag down this mountain of a man who is long on strength/power and void of any real wrestling ability.

This fight opened Velasquez-225 and it’s my judgement that a healthy Cain Velasquez comes a full -250 to -300 against a one dimensional destroyer like Ngannou. I believe current market uncertainty is presenting (and perhaps more to come as the fight draws nearer) value on Velasquez.

This price is compressing so it’s my advice to monitor the line closely as the average fight fan may not be able to get over the tremendous size advantage of Ngannou when they see these two meet at the face-off and weigh-ins. There may more value to be had on Velasquez so wait be patient and obtain every penny of value on Cain Velasquez.

Velasquez -185 or better

--Updated Sunday 2-17-19 12pm EST—

As expected the line on Cain compressed to a low of -150 before some return in price to the current Velasquez -175. The only real update here is that in normal situations I would have waited on the Velasquez price to get to -150 or its lowest point before pulling the trigger on any wager but because I have a Tuesday deadline with the fine folk at VSiN I am forced to position myself early then watch and determine if further value may be obtained later in the week. In this case further value did appear.

Vick -115 vs. Felder +105

Here’s a fight where patience provided a value on Felder as he opened -175 and is currently +105. While Vick is the younger, longer, taller fighter (which provide him analytic advantages) it‘s Vick who has gaps in his stand up defense coupled with a jaw that is no stronger than balsa wood. Felder has won three of his last four and that only loss was a short notice fight up a weight class to 170lbs. to compete with Mike Perry. Felder is the tighter more complete fighter here defensively and offensively and I do feel he should be a favorite in this fight.

Felder +105

Jury -140 vs. Fili +130

Overall I have not been impressed with Jury’s body of work even though he may be the more complete fighter in this spot. Jury likes to work off the counter attack and I believe Fili will be cautious to press him. For this reason, I believe this fight will be void of action and excitement and one very difficult fight to judge. Oh no…..

Fili +130

Rivera -135 vs. Sterling +125

This may be the most competitive and exciting fight on this UFC card. Rivera is a boxing based fighter that works in volume and is perhaps lacking in one punch power as he does most of his damage through volume, pressure and accumulation. Sterling is the wrestling based fighter who is the taller, longer combatant. This fight will be determined by which fighter can make it his style of fight. Sterling wants to get top position on the canvas for his ultimate advantage and Rivera, who’s never been taken down wants to make this a stand up fight where he can eventually find his way inside the pocket to pulverize Aljo. Rivera opened -175 and the betting value seems steeped to his side but upon closer scrutinizing I believe Sterling at any underdog price is a worthy consideration.

Sterling +130 (released earlier this week)

Last cuts

I am tempted to consider either Casey +300, Caceres +245, Bermudez -180 and/or Sanders -155 but will mention that selectivity most come into play in my practice of pugilism so keep an eye on Twitter for any further releases and Good luck to all!

Gamblou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC 234 Whittaker vs. Gastelum: Knuckles sandwich - 2/9/2019

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC 234 from Melbourne Australia. This card is laced with regional and local talent most of which are mainstays to the fights held in the eastern hemisphere so I know many of these fighters and those I don’t know well I’ll sure be watching closely in order to update my fighter database and put myself to be in position to capture value on or against them in later fights.

As far as this card is concerned my approach is to be quite selective understanding that there are fight cards the next several weeks in a row. The goal tonight is to pull a profit off of a few fighters I feel are priced proper and poised to perform to their potential.

Below is my breakdown of the main event that was published this past Wednesday in VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ magazine. I’ll provide today’s update (which have shifted somewhat substantially since my Tuesday deadline) just after that piece.

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--originally published 2-6-19 Point Spread Weekly--

Weigh-ins

MMA is a sport that requires intense scrutiny of the fighter weigh-ins in order for any handicapper to be fully confident that he/she has undertaken necessary, comprehensive due diligence.  Submitting main event breakdowns early in the week while rewarding can also be quite risky.

Weigh-ins are one of the single most important indicators to the outcomes of these fights. Weigh-ins always provide insight and ‘tells’ to fighter demeanor/performance while also displaying clear indications of who is ready to provide a top performance and who based on many criteria I have learned to look for may not be. In no other sport is the handicapper able to witness participants in their underwear on the scale thirty-six (+/-) hours prior to the event taking place. I can’t understate how important it is for anyone trying to profit off of fighting to watch these individuals weigh-in (and I watch both sets for each fight card).  

Let’s Fight

Melbourne, Australia is the scene for this week’s UFC 234 where Middleweight (185lbs.) Champion Robert Whittaker defends his title against Kelvin Gastelum in the card’s main event.

Robert Whittaker -250 vs. Kelvin Gastelum +200 (Westgate)

Australia’s first UFC title holder, Robert Whittaker has become a national hero for his actions both inside and outside of the Octagon. Whittaker who is native of both Australia and New Zealand is a fierce striking based fighter decorated in Boxing, Karate, Hapkito and Wrestling.

Whittaker, like his opponent Gastelum originally fought in the UFC’s 170lbs. division but like Gastelum the struggle to make weight and poor performances mandated that each move up to 185lbs. where they both have dominated since.

Whittaker’s level of competition in the Middleweight division has been elite and he has dominated in each fight. In fact, the attrition he’s endured from his latest two bouts (Yoel Romero) provide me real dilemma in handicapping the Aussie fighter.

After he defeated Romero in their 2017 full five round war Whittaker had to address medial damage to his left knee which occurred in round one. Just after that fight in 2018 he had to withdraw from a scheduled title defense because he had a serious staph infection. Then after his second brutally exhausting five round fight against Romero later in 2018 Whittaker was forced to attend to a broker right thumb, also incurred in the first round.

The overall physical nature of MMA in general coupled with the frenetic pace of Whittaker’s fighting style specifically paint a picture of a dynamic physical warrior but at what point does the physicality of the game play havoc on the individual? Those two five round wars with Romero absolutely affect how I handicap this fight.

Kelvin Gastelum is the prototypical ‘don’t judge the book by the cover’ fighter. Physically he appears more round that ripped BUT don’t measure the fight in Gastelum by how he looks for he is a wrestling based southpaw with formidable boxing skills and a black belt in 10th planet Ju-Jitsu. Gastelum is fast, powerful and often underestimated as well he’s been full the five round distance once prior so he’ll arrive ready to handle this opportunity.

Gastelum’s level of competition is such that he is not only deserving of this title shot be it’s my judgement that he has well more chance in this fight that the odds reflect.  

I expect Whittaker will come right to Gastelum, walk him down and meet him in the center of the Octagon to throw the heck down. I expect Gastelum to respond like the other dominant male Ram on the hillside..by ramming right into Whittaker in the center of the Octagon for a good old fashioned toe to toe this Saturday night.

Both men have will, power, cardio and determination. In what could be one of the most exciting fights of the year it’s my take that Gastelum may be the slightly quicker fighter and he may be the slightly fresher fighter. Whittaker will be defending his title among his people which surely adds to his motivation but also compounds his pressure to succeed.

If the Robert Whittaker unaffected by the two Romero fights shows up then the night is surely his and the line of -250 is accurate however, if the Romero fights have usurped anything from the will of Whittaker then he could be in for one hail of a firestorm Saturday night.

I’ll surely have a more formidable position on this fight post weigh-ins but as of this deadline it is my opinion the Gastelum is a live fighter Saturday and why not wait a few more days to allow that dog price to swell another quarter or so.

Pass for now

--Updated 29-19 11am EST—

After scrutinizing this fight card over the last week I have just a couple of positions for release today.

Over Robert Whittaker’s been the quicker fighter in all of his last nine battles which has enabled him with his warrior mentality and unrelenting volume of striking to hold great advantage. In this fight it’s my position that Gastelum’s combination of quickness, speed and power will in fact be a huge challenge for Whittaker. Gastelum will also not have to work too diligently to earn pocket position for Whittaker may begin on the bike but eventually the proud Aussie warrior will decide to throw down. When he does it’s my belief that Kelvin eventually times him up and clobbers him.

Gastelum +210

Simon -110 vs. Yahya +100

Yahya takes on a talented wrestling based fighter who will hold advantage on the feet. Simon will want this to be a stand up war and Yahya will need to find a way to force Simon against the fence then onto the floor for a clasp on the canvas. Yahya opened up a true -175 based on my handicapping and the droves have been shopping Simon so I’ll gladly take the value on a deeply experienced top fifteen ranked professional to execute tonight and reinforce his position within the division.

Yahya +100

France -230 vs. Pavia +210

France is a stocky striker who has some power and decent wrestling but this Pavia ship in from Brazil is no slouch. He arrives the taller, longer, larger man as well equip with an 18-1 record against worthy Brazilian competition. He’s won his last twelve fights and if he can weather France’s frenetic fury in the first then I believe his size, his skill and his cardio may overtake the local as the fight wears on. Raulian a hooligan!

Pavia +210

Crute -135 vs. Alvey +125

Great stylistic fight. Crute’s got great will and he’s strong as a country mule but he’s deliberate and telegraphing besides having a complete lack of any strike defense. He’s a fighter at this point in his career. Alvey is a lethal yet low volume counter striker who looks like a drywaller but counters with precision and profuse power. He’s a mixed martial artist. In this matchup Crute seems made for Alvey’s style of fighting but be aware that Alvey probably needs to stop the young bull as home cooking could raise its head if this goes to a decision.

Alvey +125

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming

 

 


UFC +2 Moraes vs. Assuncao: Fortaleza foot stomp - 2/2/2019

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to this week’s UFC fight card from Fortaleza Brazil. It’s no secret that highlighting local/regional/national talent in fight cards within a Country is central in the grand expansion plan of the organization. With that in mind I do see favorable circumstances tonight for many Brazilian fighters. There are also some intra-country fights that are sure to be highly competitive fights fought in front of some of the most passionate fight fans in the world. We could get some gasoline on fire tonight in Fortaleza!

As always I’ll post my main event breakdown originally published earlier in the week on ‘Point Spread Weekly’ which is VSiN’s weekly newsletter created specifically for sports handicappers. This publication is a value in my opinion. Any interested at a free gander of the BIG GAME Super Bowl edition may download it free just by visiting VSiN.com/big and submitting your e-mail address. It’s a comprehensive breakdown of tomorrow’s contest. Now on to Brazil.

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

Originally published 1-27-19

The UFC travels to Fortaleza, Brazil for this week’s ESPN+ fight production which offers fans another much anticipated rematch pitting third ranked Brazilian Bantamweight (135lbs.) Rafael Assuncao (victor in the first fight via split decision) against fellow Brazilian and current fourth ranked Marlon Moraes. The winner of this fight is to be designated the number one contender at Bantamweight therefore earning the next opportunity to fight current Champion TJ Dillashaw for his title.

Moraes entered the UFC with heaps of hype and was a betting favorite in his debut bout held in Brazil in June 2017. He opened -210 against the veteran Assuncao before closing -275.

Marlon Moraes -185 vs. Rafael Assuncao +165 Bantamweight (135lbs.)

Rafael Assuncao is a grizzled UFC veteran. In their first fight (Moraes’ debut in the UFC) Assuncao welcomed the decorated newcomer into the organization by earning a solid decision victory over his much hyped opponent. Prior to that battle my feeling was that Moraes was going to have to prove to me that he was a fighter of Assuncao’s ability and I wagered accordingly.

Entering this fight, it’s my judgement that the last couple years have enabled Moraes to further refine his diverse skillset while Assuncao has in no way been aided by the time. Further, I don’t believe he has improved enough to be able to deal with the speed, precision, and ferocity that Moraes is going to deliver.

Assuncao has won his last four fights since dropping a tight decision in a rematch against Dillashaw in July of 2016. Assuncao won seven fights prior to that loss which included a victory against current Champion Dillashaw in their first fight. A victory here would earn Assuncao a rubber match opportunity against Dillashaw which many (especially Assuncao) believe he has already earned based on his recent body of work and that first victory over Moraes.

Assuncao is a Muay Thai/BJJ based southpaw fighter who has extreme power in each hand. He prefers to entice opponents to come into him to initiate so that he may utilize effective counterpunching. He utilizes shattering leg kicks to soften opponents, conditioning them to drop their defense before attacking the head with his powerful hooks. In their first fight is was Assuncao that displayed an edge in experience, conditioning and Octagon control and though he was clearly the more deliberate fighter he was able to deal with Moraes athleticism and quickness over the duration of that three round affair.

It’s my judgement that Marlon Moraes enters this FIVE round rematch against Assuncao a vastly more refined and destructive fighter than he was on the night of June 3, 2017. Most importantly this is his fifth fight in the UFC and gone are any semblance of debut jitters. Since that first fight he’s gone undefeated displaying precision, power, dynamic striking and constant movement.

Debuting in the UFC is a sizable adjustment for incoming talent and I attribute Moraes poor second round in their first fight as an indication that he had emotionally overtaxed himself prior to their bout and also during the first round of that fight which is often the case for debuting UFC fighters. I believe Moraes has gained much experience since their first encounter while mowing through the division’s top contenders.

Moraes, a switch-stance fighter will have slight height and reach advantages over Assuncao but the most dynamic advantage he’ll have Saturday night will be his speed, quickness and athleticism coupled with a five-year age advantage (in the UFC, fighters with a five-year youth advantage over their opponent in fights under 170lbs. are victorious 65% of the time).

Assuncao now thirty-six years old has few top performances remaining while its quite probable that the multi-dimensional and exceptionally talented Moraes is at the beginning of a career defining run.

Moraes will also utilize a constant leg barrage early to both deter the pursuing Assuncao as well condition him into defending the low kick so Moraes (who is one of the most dynamic kicking talents in the UFC) may use any number of wheel kicks, axe kicks and spinning head kicks. In fact, in round one of their previous fight Moraes flashed a spinning heel kick that missed Assuncao’s dome by an inch. Had he connected with that kick it would have been as devastating to Assuncao as Moraes switch kick to Jimmy Rivera was in his last bout (a first round KO).

Moraes youth, dynamic athleticism and multi-dimensional precision striking will render Assuncao unable to effectively close distance to engage Moraes.

This Fight opened Moraes -220 and is now -185. I make Moraes -250 in this spot so the plan here is to take Moraes now at -185 because I don’t want to lose the number and the value is acceptable. Should the price continue to compress I’ll have no reservation about reinvesting more at a price offering more value than what we have in hand. Keep an eye on my Twitter account (@GambLou) for any updates or added releases.

Moraes -185

Updated 2-2-19 11:00am EST

There is risk involved with publishing fight releases five days prior to the event not to mention prior to both sets of weigh-ins. The tendency to scour for value in underdogs most often mandates waiting until late to bet said dogs in order to gain every penny of value. When faced with a Tuesday deadline however it forces me into handicapping the event prior to being able to be swayed by other opinions (other than the one’s I enlist) which is good. The challenge to this however is that I’m forced into taking the price listed at that time. In some cases, this works to my favor but in the case of a couple fights today it did not.

I f you read above I grabbed the -185 because the price was acceptable. Had I known it would go to -150 then of course I would have waited. Moraes at current -150 in my judgement offers great value.

Moraes -150

Renato Moicano -140 vs. Jose Aldo +120

Here’s a fight that opened Moicano -120 on December 26th. By the time I could react it was priced-140. It’s my opinion that Moicano is similarly styled to Max Holloway and it’s also my opinion that Jose is well aware of this which is why he held firm on this being only a three round affair. The key to the competitiveness of this fight is that.

Aldo must immediately press the pace and try to overwhelm the younger Brazilian lion for fifteen minutes and damage Moicano with leg kicks, elbows and unrelenting pressure and make his superiority known from the start if he is to win.

Moicano must be able to maintain his distance, utilize his lethal striking and barrage Aldo as he tries to work his way inside the pocket. Sustained movement and distance striking are his mandates. This fight may well come down to conditioning and heart and when a fighter begins to think about and discuss his last few fights as well retirement as Aldo has…. he’s already retired.

Moicano -130

Oliviera -120 vs. Teymur +100

This is our ‘Styles make fights’ bout for the evening. Teymur is a Muay Thai based raging bull that must keep any fight upright in order to fight at his strength. His take down defense has improved vastly which will be the key to this fight as well making sure he hears the bell to the third round as Oliviera seems to fade with time especially if bullied and Teymur is that.

To call Oliviera a submission specialist does not do him service at all for he’s one of the most lethal and efficient submission specialists in the history of the organization. It’s my take that Teymur has been placed in Brazil to highlight BJJ because he’ll come straight at Oliviera and make any submission an efficient one. Oliviera in front of these rabid Brahma beer guzzling fight fans at close to a pick-em is heavy value.

Oliviera -120

Santos -175 vs. Borella +165

Wrong woman is favored here in my judgement. Santos has faced weak regional competition and is stepping way up in class in this one. Borella ships in from Italy and if she displays half of the skill she put forth in her recent loss against a top five fighter in Chookagian then she beats the Brazil out of Santos. Mangy mutt alert

Borella +165

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming

 


UFC ESPN1 Cejudo vs. Dillashaw: A Gi grows in Brooklyn - 1/19/2019

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to the inaugural card on the new ESPN+ platform. If early weigh-ins are any indication of things to come, the clarity, professionalism and depth of coverage for we consumers will be improved substantially.

As is customary, I’ll provide my main event breakdown published in VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ publication 1-16-19 first then update those thoughts with any other releases I feel offer gaming value.

Let’s Fight

 (All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard/hypothetical $100.00 per position unless otherwise stated.  We employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is recorded and accounted for each Monday AM in the “Money Morning’ report.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events we work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and bottom line profitability up to date in real time.  It’s business).

--Insight the Octagon (originally published 1-16-19)--

Insight the Octagon wants to welcome all those savvy enough to have invested in VSiN’s Point Spread Weekly in 2019! Bang for the buck there is no better Profitable Sports Gaming weekly newsletter in my humble opinion.

Jon Jones dominating performance put an exclamation point on a profitable 2018 for fight Enthusiasts following my PSW releases. Jones finish of Gustafsson earned a total of 1.95 units as I had released Jones as the second leg of a parlay with Usman (earning +.95) and the ‘fight does not go the distance -110’ prop (later converted to Under 4.5 rds. -110) which earned another unit. So the final tally for 2018: 17-15 +3.90 units.

UFC Favorites in 2018 were 284-133-16 (65.5%) just 0.4% lower than in 2017’s 65.9% which is important to understand for all seeking value in underdogs. Understanding that only two or three ‘dogs per card win (on average) mandates that appropriate due diligence AND selection must be conducted in order to uncover dog value on any UFC card.

Value may also take the form of a favorite but I’ll admit that my approach is focused towards uncovering two (or more) live underdogs and wagering on them in pairs if possible allowing me to pocket profit in case of a split result. This is cornerstone to my approach to wagering on all sports utilizing a moneyline…why allow the counter to pick up all the pennies?

Here’s my breakdown of the inaugural ESPN+ fight card

Flyweight Championship (125lbs.) TJ Dillashaw -200 vs. Henry Cejudo +170 (Westgate LV)

Bantamweight (135lbs.) Champion TJ Dillashaw drops down a division in order to try to capture Henri Cejudo’s Flyweight title this Saturday night in Brooklyn, NY. Dillashaw is best known for two dominant performances in attaining then defending his 135lbs. title against Cody Garbrandt.

Dillashaw who is the taller fighter owns reach advantages over his opponent. He fights utilizing a combination of his collegiate wrestling base supplemented with BJJ (grappling) and Muay Thai (striking). Dillashaw is athletic, powerful, fast, and quite honestly as complete a fighter as is on the roster but that is based on his performances at 135lbs.

I saw Dillashaw in a recent interview where he claimed to be already down to 135 and he looked quite lean. My concerns in this fight when assessing Dillashaw’s chances to win center around how this weight cut will affect his power and stamina.

Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo is a ‘world class’ wrester who will be fighting at a weight he is most accustomed too, he’ll have a wrestling advantage over Dillashaw (although that may be negated to an extent because Dillashaw will be much the larger/bigger man by the time they ring the opening bell).

I anticipate the extremely athletic Cejudo to try to utilize his speed and quickness to frustrate a Dillashaw that looked lighting quick against Garbrandt and other 135’ers but may look a bit pedestrian against the quicker more agile Flyweight. Cejudo’s evasiveness and ability to get Dillashaw to the floor are the keys to him winning Saturday and while Cejudo lacks real punching power what he does not lack is cardio, heart and championship mettle.

In this fight I expect Dillashaw to come straight at Cejudo, try to walk him down and turn out his lights early via a striking barrage for what quickness Dillashaw displays will be early in this fight. Dillashaw feels that Cejudo will not be able to hurt him and may underestimate the smaller Olympic gold medalist. Cejudo for his part understands exactly what’s coming and he’ll counter TJ’s determination with evasive movement, flashy footwork and strategic take down attempts. The plan is to frustrate as Dillashaw tries to navigate Cejudo’s movement.

So the question in this main event becomes this, Can Dillashaw contend with Cejudo’s quickness/evasiveness and eventually catch Henry with a haymaker? Will he be able to batter the smaller man with kicks/strikes to slow him initially then take him out?  Or…

Will Cejudo be able to draw upon his athletic ability and evasiveness to make Dillashaw look slow and premeditated at this lower weight? Will he be able to frustrate him while forcing Dillashaw to expend energy while taking this fight into the Championship rounds?

Cejudo’s best chance to win in my judgement is by taking Dillashaw very deep into this fight and hoping the weight cut was too much for him at 125 lbs. I believe that this may be a little too much to ask for based on the years of wrestling and weigh cuts each man has endured.

In this fight I made Dillashaw a -220 favorite so I can find no real value based on current pricing. I also view the total in the fight (4.5 Over -135) as spot on so in this first ever Fight Night via ESPN+ we’ll lean to TJ Dillashaw but not make any official release on this main event.

Te Edwards -130 vs. Dennis Bermudez +110

While I have no release in the main event I do like a position that is the main event of the early prelims. Dennis Bermudez who was a touch undersized in the Featherweight (145lbs.) Division moves up to the lightweight Division (155lbs.) to face Te Edwards.

Bermudez will be giving away size, height and reach to Edwards who is the younger man by three years. Bermudez who will hold a vast experience advantage may think that this is an easy fight since Edwards was KO’d in his last but I believe quite the opposite. Edwards is the more accomplished wrestler, he’s younger and he has abundant power in his right hand…abundant. Couple that ‘pop’ with Bermudez’s jaw which is as fragile as porcelain and we can determine value with Edwards. I’ll advise those that can get the prop ‘Edwards inside the Distance’ +160 to consider that angle for added value but for many of our PSW readers that do not have access to this prop I’ll offer this side position available to all.

Edwards -130

--Updated 1-19-19 11:30am EST—

I must say that I am impressed at how both main event combatants made weight and appear prior to this fight. My biggest question revolves around Dillashaw’s weight cut, as it is one thing to make weight but another to then be force to expend the amount of energy required to overtake another Championship fighter in a five round affair.

The over 4.5 rounds is lined at -122 which means the oddsmakers agree with me in my gut feeling that this fight goes to decision. We know Henry fights to decision 85.7% of the time so that with the general feeling that this is a long fight forces me to believe that Henry is hot tonight.

Cejudo +190 (half)

The other PSW release does have me nervous as Te Edwards was the last one on the scale in Brooklyn yesterday. I do concern myself with the weather in N.Y. specifically for the Arizona fighters who will unquestionably be distracted by the cold each and every second they are there.

Stewart -160 vs. Recountre +150

Stewart is an ex-Marine which sways me to him from the start. He’s talented, willing and will fight relentlessly. His transition to the MMALab is of key importance here for he was defeated in a recent LFA 46 bout by current badass and resident MMALab fighter James Nakashima. Stewart then joined the gym in Phoenix that Nakashima trains at because he is dedicated to improve and he recognized that this is a gym with a deep diversity and depth of quality MMA fighters especially wrestlers.
Recountre is a wrestling, grinding based fighter so the question I pose is how quickly can one gain wrestling savvy and ability?  I will pass on this fight but go on record as saying that Recountre may be live here.

Neal -175 vs. Muhammad +165

Neal is explosive, athletic and powerful yet his depth of competition faced has me feeling that the less flashy, more experienced unrelenting wrestling based grinder that is Muhammad is in a fine spot tonight.

Muhammad +165

Sandhagen-480 vs. Bautista +430

Sandhagen has been looking at a revolving door of opponents for this fight and finally he gets what many feel is a cakewalk but I would caution people to feel that way. Sure Sandhagen has the UFC experience as well his game especially his striking looks phenomenal but Bautista is not piece of meat. He is another fighter in from Phoenix from the MMALab and having watched him train personally I can assure you he is no +430 dog to anyone in this division despite his youth and inexperience. Bautista will compete.

Sandhagen/Bautista over 1.5 -125

Benavidez -225 vs. Ortiz +205

This is a rematch of a 2014 fight where Joe B won a tight yet fair decision. Benavidez (who closed -560 in that fight) was at the absolute top of his game and Ortiz still developing his at that time. Ortiz enters the Octagon the taller, larger fighter as well he’s five years the younger fighter who is now more in his prime while it’s my belief that Joe may be just past his. I like the hunger/revenge factor here

Ortiz +205

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming

 

 


UFC 232 Jones vs. Gustaffson II: 'Roid Rage? - 12/29/2018

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC 232 their final fight card for 2018. Below please find my main event breakdown published earlier this week on VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ magazine, a weekly publication dedicated to handicappers of every way shape and form. Both sets of weigh-ins are complete so my releases are updated after the main event breakdown. Happy New Year to all and may all the split decisions in 2019 go our way!

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard/hypothetical $100.00 per position unless otherwise stated.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is recorded and accounted for. On line, up to date results for the select sporting events I work are available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the top of the Gamblou.com webpage.  The ‘Profitability’ tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI.  It’s business).

--Originally published 12-28-18 ‘Point Spread Weekly’--

Thank You goes out to all readers of ’Insight the Octagon’ in Point Spread Weekly as well a wish for a Happy and Joyous New Year.

This UFC 232 fight card is stacked with competitive fights between championship world class competitors and the card features a couple of capable value based canines. We may not uncover a dog in the main event this week but there are live underdogs to be found on Saturday’s fight card.

I’m tracking UFC Favorites in 2018 at: 282-132-16 (65.4%) so while I focus on uncovering value on underdogs, I’m also respectful of the data and choose to remain ultra-selective with any releases.

Also, we hold an open ended parlay that needs to be filled and I’ll do so from a side on this main event. The first leg was Kamaru Usman -250 in the TUF finale released on the November 28th ‘Insight the Octagon’ column (Point Spread weekly issue #66).

Jon ‘Bones’ Jones -255 vs. Alex ‘the Mauler’ Gustaffson +220 Light Heavyweight Championship (205lbs.)

Before entering the 2019 UFC campaign we’re privileged to enjoy the final UFC fight card of this year which features the highly anticipated return of Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. Jones is regarded by most qualified MMA Enthusiasts as simply the best fighter this sport has ever witnessed. And while I agree that Jones the physical fighting machine sports tremendous physical advantages I also must state that his issues with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) must be addressed for they (in my judgement) provide insight into the mentality of Jones the fighter. In sports wagering but most especially the fight game everything must be considered when striving for advantage and if there is a chink to Jones fight arsenal it is to be found in his mentality.  

I say this because in each of Jones two Championship fights against Daniel Cormier, USADA ruled that he’s tested positive to using banned enhancing substances. This caused him to be stripped of the title by the UFC after the first instance in 2016. Then in 2017 after being reinstated, his KO victory over DC was ruled a ‘no contest’ again based on USADA findings. 

Jones fight arsenal is based on unrelenting wrestling, incredible athleticism and a unique combination of size/length/reach to set up his powerfully precise striking and kicking game… and I haven’t mentioned how truly bad this kid’s intentions are. Jones the fighter is the absolute prototype of the modern MMA fighter. That said, when I assess Jones, I’ll recall that in each of his two fights against Daniel Cormier Jones believed that he needed an ‘edge’ and I’ll leave it to readers to make any further judgements regarding why he felt he needed to do that.

Myself I’ll say this with a high degree of certainty, if Jon Jones enters a UFC Octagon fully prepared mentally and physically to battle, it does not matter if the fight be Light Heavyweight or Heavyweight and against anyone anywhere, Jones would be marked as a minimum -190 chalk based on my handicapping.

So we approach this main event and discover that Jones is currently -265 against this Alexander Gustaffson from Sweden. This fight is lined as tightly as it is (for a jones fight) because in their first fight Gustaffson fought brilliantly and forced Jones who opened -800 and closed -1000 to go all five rounds before winning a closely contested but fair decision.

In that fight Gustaffson was able to neutralize much of Jones physical advantages with deft movement and by utilizing angles to both counter Jones and actually take him down…something that had not really been done to him prior. Gus is actually an inch taller than JBJ at 6’5” and only gives away five inches of reach to Jones (I say ‘only’ because Jones reach is second only to 7’1” Stefan Struve but Gus was able to minimize that advantage with his own size and reach) so in the first fight Jones discovered that he was being tagged when engaging with Gus which is something he had rarely experienced. 

Their first fight was the one instance Jones engaged in someone with similar physical attributes to Jones and it was noticeable in the result. It will be interesting to discover the Gustaffson fight plan for Gus has been grousing that he won the first fight as well chiding Jones about his checkered past. One thing I will say about Gus is that he has some intestinal fortitude to be mouthing off to this monster.

Gus being Muay Thai, boxing based with a purple belt in BJJ added for ground effectiveness will enter the Octagon with plenty of pugilistic pedigree and confidence.

I expect this fight to look much like the first if Gustaffson has his druthers although it is widely known that Jones took Gus lightly prior to that first fight in UFC 165 and was out ‘carousing’ the nights leading up to that fight. Jones claims he won that fight being ill prepared and quite honestly I do believe that.

Because each fighter has not been in the cage for months (Jones last fight was July 2017 and Gustaffson’s last fight was May 2017) I look for a relatively premeditated start to this fight as they know each other, respect each other but also wish to destroy each other.

That said I feel Gustaffson will have a similar plan in mind, stick and move and force Jones to get impatient when forging forward which will allow the Swede to swipe him with shots. Gus does not have the power to do anything against Jones but vie for a decision win while it is my judgement that Jones (provided he is focused, primed and ready to fire) can win via decision or via the finish in this spot.

I believe Jones is a difficult man to predict yet he has so much riding on this outcome that I am going to make the position that he walks into T-Mobile Saturday night poised to perform at his prime. If he does that I believe he’ll not only get his hand raised but he just may mash ‘the Mauler’.

Jones -255 as second leg of parlay (with Usman -250 for 1 unit) to return .95 unit 

An available Prop for the fight “Fight does the Distance” is Pick-em which indicates a fight similar to the first fight. I tend to disagree based on my due diligence reinforcing my position that Jones enters this fight primed to impress. For those of you that can find this Prop on the fight ‘in far-away places’ I’ll also invest in this.

Fight “does not go to Decision” -110  

The Co-main event of this fight card is set to be as exciting and dynamic a title fight as the main event. In that co-main event women’s Featherweight (145lbs.) Champion Cristiana ‘Cyborg’ Justino -250 defends her title against women’s bantamweight (135lbs.) Champion Amanda Nunes +215 who is attempting to become a rare two division title holder in the UFC. This fight will be outstanding and offers great intrigue and dynamics. I’ll break this Co-main event down and others I feel present gaming value after Friday’s weigh-ins at GambLou.com.

Happy New Year to all and enjoy the fights.

--Updated 12-29-18 11 am EST—

Providing comprehensive main event breakdowns for PSW with Tuesday morning deadlines has actually been a blessing in disguise during the past year as I am forced to complete all my handicapping prior to being exposed to any other opinions (other than the few trusted MMA minds I do seek out to bounce ideas off of). The issue with early publications is that often times I’m not able to capture all the value on an underdog had I waited until Saturday to release. The flip side of that (like today) is that when Jones was released to PSW readers this week on Wednesday his price was a mere -255. Today as I write this he is -275 a price I still believe offers value. Also the ‘Does not go to decision’ is now -130. So readers hold market advantage on the main event.

Chris ‘Cyborg’ Justino -240 vs. Amanda Nunes +220

Ok so we released Cyborg -240 on my appearance with Matt Youmans and Erin Rynning this past Friday on VSiN’s program ‘The Edge’. My belief is that Nunes three inch reach disadvantage really comes into play in this fight. I see Nunes doing all she can to try to keep some separation from Cyborg who I anticipate will try to work inside Nunes and utilize a punishing body attack before Nunes hands drop and Cyborg finishes this fight. Nunes is a world class fighter but it is my judgement that she is too undersized and underpowered to be able to beat a focused Cyborg who now fights in her own back yard.

 Cyborg -240

Parlay Cyborg -240 to Jones -275 returns .93 on a 1 unit outlay

Latifi -135 vs. Anderson +125

This is a release I posted on @Twitter Dec. 18th, Anderson +140. Latifi has innate power and will come directly to Anderson and try and pop him on the point as Anderson’s beak is as fragile as my Nana’s nativity set. Anderson has size, reach, length a wrestling pedigree and better boxing that Latifi does so this cat and mouse game goes like this: If Anderson can get this fight into the third or to a decision I believe he can win and even look impressive but he’ll have to navigate the Swedish fire hydrant who will bring explosiveness and unrelenting forward pressure as he tries to undo Anderson.

Anderson +140

(+115 or better is a go)

Mendes -135 vs. Volkanovski +125

Another release made via @twitter, this one on the 16th of the month Volkanovski +150. I believe the younger wrestling based fighter will have advantages in speed, endurance and cardio but will have to navigate the early pressure, power and explosion of Mendes. This is another fight we will need to get ‘our guy’ into the later second round and beyond before we begin to see the tide turn to the Aussie. I believe Mendes off the suspension and a relatively easy win against Miles Jury is in for a rude awakening tonight.

Volkanovski +150

(+120 or better is the target)

Hall -440 vs. Penn +400

Call me goofy but I think this is the only guy on the roster they could have given to BJ to make him look good, get to a decision and possibly walk off in style as opposed to how he has looked recently against anyone that can strike a match. Fortunately for Penn, Hall’s forte is rubber guard and lay and prey. Penn is not out of this fight and I’ll have a little lunch money bet on him at this obtuse price.

Any further releases will be posted prior to the fight (lol) and via @Twitter.

Enjoy the fights and Happy New Year

GambLou.com

Profitable Sports Gaming